Saturday, December 15, 2007

Homeschooling and the internet

I believe that much of the growth in homeschooling is due to the internet. No longer is the home isolated. No longer do schools have privileges of access to libraries of information, to text books, to educational standards etc.

Parents can now be part of a community from home. They can shop from home. Virtually anything can be learned from home.

The entire educational process is now opened up to an incredible degree. Nobody fully understands how dramatically the technology is changing the process of education, the goal of education, or the kids who are being educated. A few points about education:

No longer is memorization of so much info an important goal. Now that info retrieval is so simple and fast, we need to carry less in our heads.

The research process is dramatically different.

The work place is dramatically different.

And the kids, shaped by the net and online games and all the digital communications and fast TV, are different.

So sitting in classrooms that move at the pace of molasses using technology and teaching methods unchanged in a century... makes less sense than ever....

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Computers, Schooling, One laptop per child,

I have read for awhile about how cheap computers can help third world students jump into the modern world. The idea is that $100 networked computers can be provided to poor children in the 3rd world giving them an opportunity to educate themselves.

I am very concerned about the huge percentage of children who grow up in poverty with poor education (remember, I started my career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa).

I think technology is the salvation of education.

So, this morning, I participated in the: "One learning child. One connected child. One laptop at a time. Give one, Get One" program.

And I quote from the webiste about the XO Laptop:
One learning child. One connected child. One laptop at a time.
The mission of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is to empower the children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child. In order to accomplish our goal, we need people who believe in what we’re doing and want to help make education for the world’s children a priority, not a privilege. Between November 12 and November 26, OLPC is offering a Give One Get One program in the United States and Canada. During this time, you can donate the revolutionary XO laptop to a child in a developing nation, and also receive one for the child in your life in recognition of your contribution.


I spent $438 to contribute one and to get one. I'm interested to test it to see what it feels like and how it runs sites such as Time4Learning.com, Learning Games for Kids, SpellingCity.com and Vocabulary.co.il.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A neglected blog

I just posted a comment onto someone's blog and it added an automatic link to my johne profile at blogger. I checked the link and discovered this blog. Which I seem to have forgotten.

It's a shame since I really needed one more blog to try and keep up on. (that was a tired sarcastic comment that slipped out). Let me do a quick review of my blogs....

Communicating with homeschoolers - This one is about our efforts to use forums, chats, newsletters, telephone support, CRMS, and blogs to both improve and streamline our communication with our current and potential members. It's over at homeschoolblogger under the name of EdMouse.

Online marketing - This about the nuts and bolts of online marketing and tracking my progress. It's at blogger and gets the most posts, I guess reflecting the fact that my last two years have been spent thinking more about marketing than educational development. Happily, I think that phase is now done.

Fun learning online - I created this blog as a way to work my ideas from the initial concept into an article. Kindof a series of rough drafts. It's also at blogger.

Web Home School - This is a group blog authored by a number of parents (all moms) about their experiences with Time4Learning. It was intended as a way to learn alot about the details of howTime4Learning fits into a homeschool day. So far, it's an amazing read although not what I initially envisaged. Plus, for some reason, it pulls no traffic or search engine rank.

Karate blog - Since I had alot of spare time and needed to spend more of it in front of a computer, I started blogging about my new sports activity. Both my sports activity and my blogging about it are taking on a life of their own. (woops, more sarcasm...)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Eclectic Homeschooling

I really believe in only one type of homeschooling curriculum - ecletic.

Each child is different, each season is different, each child responds differently to each subject. Parents should definitely use the right approach for the right child and for each subject. And they should switch them around to keep it interesting.

For instance, I would definitely be:

Classical for much of history and literature studies. There are great books that provide the most stimulating interesting first hand knowledge of so much.

Unschool for much of the arts, literature, science, and social studies. So much stimulation, so much room to follow your interests...Even math when possible.

Curriculum-based for much of the language arts and math. Children need to learn the times tables and other math basics. A homeschool program needs to teach the spelling and punctuation rules (eats, shoots, and leaves) for grammar and ooldes of vocabulary needs to be learned....